I love to read. I love to be educated on health and wellness and especially want to be educated on pregnancy and birth, since I do plan a home birth this time around. I find myself having a lot more choices than I have had while having a hospital birth and I want to make educated choices.
Here’s my top 5 inspiring pregnancy books
#1 The Gift of Giving Life by Felice Austin
This book is came highly recommended by my midwife’s assistant and was given to me by a dear friend as a treasured gift. It is probably one of the best books I have ever read and made me feel empowered and refreshed because I am a mother and just because I am that. It helped me understand my role and my divine nature and is a very spiritually uplifting book and is a collection of medical advice and women’s birth stories as well as an essay on why motherhood is important and should be valued more in our society. Your body can make a baby, that’s really amazing! It is from an LDS point of view, but I think it is relevant for all Moms. I even have a friend who is not pregnant who read it and was awed by it. It is quite long, but be warned, it is a page turner! Feel free to buy a used version of this book and buy a copy for a friend, it’s that good! If you buy the book, you can also get a free pregnancy meditation download from the book’s website.
#2 Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
If you plan a home birth, this is the first book you should read. It’s so comprehensive and so full of knowledge. Ina May is THE expert on midwifery and pregnancy/birth. She has a very down to earth writing style and the book is written on a level that can easily be understood. I thought it was fantastic and I read things in this book that I had never knew existed from my hospital birth days. Reading this book made me feel comfortable and safe about home birth and helped me become educated about what I could expect.
#3 Your Best Birth by Ricki Lake
This was a very good and informative book, but it has a definite bias toward home birth. I, personally, have a definite bias toward home birth, so it works for me. However, if you are very against the whole natural birth process, this probably isn’t the book for you. A good companion to this book would be watching the documentary called The Business of Being Born. As we all know, Obstetrics & Gynecology is big business and the documentary opened my mind to how many unnecessary procedures are done in hospitals during birth to avoid being sued and to make more money for the doctors and the hospitals.
#4 Hypnobirthing: The Mongon Method… by Marie Mongon
I think learning meditation techniques like the ones taught in this book are very helpful for any stage of life, not just pregnancy. I go into more depth about the Hypnobirthing book here in a previous post. There are also CDs/MP3s you can buy to help you learn how to meditate. I try to do meditation a couple times a week as my midwife says it’s vital for pain relief in labor.
#5 What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff
If you see an OBGYN, you will generally be given this book free of charge at your first appointment. If not, you probably have a friend who owns it, or you can find it used for a couple bucks at the most. Many in the home birth world feel that this is the worst book ever to be read by a pregnant Mom. I disagree. I feel that there is a lot of good knowledge in this book that can be helpful to get you through pregnancy and to help you know what options you have.
I hope this post helps you find some of the right pregnancy books for you! If you have any questions, please post a comment and I will try to answer it to the best of my ability!